A town in northern Italy has banned women from wearing the “burqini” favored by conservative Muslim women, Al Arabiya reports.
The anti-immigration mayor barred the burqini and said women wearing them to pools or the beach would be subjected to $700 (Eur500) fines.
Gianluca Buonanno, mayor of Varallo Sesia said, “The sight of a ‘masked woman’ could disturb small children, not to mention problems of hygiene.”
AKI reports that a young Muslim girl stopped going to a public pool in Verona after she was asked to provide details on the material of her burqini by the pool’s director, Christian Panzarini.
Panzarini told AKI that some of their swimming instructors wear full body suits, but he was concerned about the hygiene of a burqini.
Monica Ferrari, an Italian triathlete who trains at the pool, said that she didn’t think the burqini-clad girl had frightened any children, AKI reports.
Al Arabiya reports that Buonanno is a member of Italy’s Northern League, which has been allied with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party.
Last week, a pool in Paris refused entry to a woman wearing a burqini.
Staff said there was a rule forbidding people from swimming while clothed.
In June, AP reported French President Nicholas Sarkozy saying that burqas were “not welcome” in France.